Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Whys and Wherefores

So, I'll start with a post about what I'm doing here, and a little background. This is, if you like, the exposition! I was born in the year Star Wars came out. I played make believe games where I was Luke Skywalker on Tatooine when I was at the beach. I graduated early onto the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books and from there went on to D&D style games - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and GURPS featuring heavily in my portfolio. I moved into Live Roleplaying and did a lot of it. Playing it and running it, even as a full time job for a while. It captured my passion and I loved the possibility of living out the games I had made up before.

All the while I was playing on computers. I started with an Amstrad 6128 and lived through the time when you could buy magazines with games you could programme in yourself using basic. Hours and hours frittered away! I then got a PC and slowly progressed through PCs to this day.

I have served my time as a Warcraft addict.

In more recent times I have played a lot of Xbox and gave up my PC for a bit (mostly after my laptop was stolen!) but have now returned to the PC. I also have an iPad and I love it and an iPhone.

In my other life I've worked in the theatre a lot. Mostly as a stage manager but I've done my time treading the boards as well.

Same years ago I decided that I wanted to get into the computer games industry. I gave it a crack, but I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know who to apply with and, although I was ok at writing table top games and pretty good at running LARP games I didn't know where to begin with computer games. I was, understandably knocked back at every point. I was told that not being able to write C++ meant that I had no chance. I went back to working in the theatre and in production management.

Now, some years on, I am trying again, but this time with rather more fervour. I have a desire and an intent to get into the professional computer games industry. My writing skills have improved and I have learnt some more about what works in games. Now though I am focussing a bit more on my background knowledge. To that end I am taking an Open University course called T151 Digital Worlds. It's fantastic. It's begun the process of teaching me about games and how they work - how you go about programming them and making things happen. About the background of some of their elements and all sorts of other bits and pieces. It's great. I'll probably post some bits of 'wisdom' there at some point. It's a 10 week course and feels like a wonderful introduction. After that and beginning in September I am starting an MA in Games Design. I'm going down to working 3 days a week in a gamble to learn more and get a job.

I'm 5 weeks into the OU course and I thought I would keep a blog of the process. I'm not quite sure why but I hope that it's vaguely interesting to read and a place for me to keep note of some of my thoughts and bits I didn't want to lose. On top of that I figured I might one day look back and think about how I got to where I am 'today'. This will hopefully be that record.

Wish me luck!

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